updatediconLast Updated : September 11, 2020

What Is Home Warranty?

Home warranties are a service contract that covers the cost of repairs or replacements of protected home appliances and systems. The contract is between a home warranty provider and a homeowner. A home warranty is also known as home warranty insurance, appliance warranty, or home service contracts.

Note that home warranties cover repair or replacements if the appliance or system malfunctions due to regular wear and tear.

A home warranty plan can protect both new and existing homeowners. It covers all types of homes, including, but not limited to, single-home, twin house, condo homes, and duplexes. This policy protects homeowners from spending huge amounts of money on fixing home items and allows them to have their peace of mind if something undesirable and unexpected were to happen.


Home warranties are a service contract that covers the cost of repairs or replacements of protected home appliances and systems. The contract is between a home warranty provider and a homeowner. A home warranty is also known as home warranty insurance, appliance warranty, or home service contracts.

Note that home warranties cover repair or replacements if the appliance or system malfunctions due to regular wear and tear.

A home warranty plan can protect both new and existing homeowners. It covers all types of homes, including, but not limited to, single-home, twin house, condo homes, and duplexes. This policy protects homeowners from spending huge amounts of money on fixing home items and allows them to have their peace of mind if something undesirable and unexpected were to happen.

Top Home Warranty Companies

Based on the reviews and ratings from our community, Consumera has compiled this list of the top Home Warranty companies.

Total Home Protection
Total Home Protection
5.0/ 5

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Offers among the best customer service experiences in the market and has unmatchable discounts.

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American Home Shield
American Home Shield
5.0/ 5

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Home warranty industry pioneer with the largest network of contractors. Offers customized plans and electronics warranty.

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First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Helps protect the household budget with low-priced plans starting at as low as a dollar a day. Offers unlimited service requests.

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America's Preferred Home Warranty
America's Preferred Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Innovation-driven company that covers a wide variety of property types. Allows customers to choose their own contractors.

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Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Offers among the best customer service experiences in the market and has unmatchable discounts.

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The Home Service Club
The Home Service Club
0/ 5

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One of the largest home warranty companies serving across the nation. Offers among the most extensive coverage along with utility line systems coverage.

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Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Strong workforce of repair contractors at one of the home warranty leaders. Offers competitively priced plans.

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Landmark Home Warranty
Landmark Home Warranty
0/ 5

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A top regional home warranty company offering very comprehensive coverage plans. Offers unique services like HVAC tune-ups.

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HSA Home Warranty
HSA Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Exceptional service, comprehensive coverage, and repairs from a company with 30 years of experience in the home warranty business.

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2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
0/ 5

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High claim payout rate from one of the oldest home warranty companies. Also, offers plans for builders.

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OneGuard Home Warranty
OneGuard Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Leading regional home warranty service provider with a high approval rating. Carpet cleaning services available.

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Cinch Home Services
Cinch Home Services
0/ 5

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An old home warranty player, growing and consolidating their market share. Offers unmatched contractor pre-screening.

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TotalProtect Home Warranty
TotalProtect Home Warranty
0/ 5

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Cover damage from unknown pre-existing conditions and offer one free month of coverage on their plans. 180-Day workmanship guarantee.

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HomeServe USA
HomeServe USA
0/ 5

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Has a slightly different collaborative business model where services are offered via tie-ups with utility and municipal partners. Highest repair guarantee. 

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Wondering which Home Warranty company is right for you?

How Does A Home Warranty Contract Work?

A key factor of home warranty is that it is not only suitable for homeowners, but is also suitable for homebuyers, home sellers, landlords, and real estate professionals. However, the coverage options and cost may differ for homeowners, home buyers and sellers, and real estate agents.

Generally, home warranties last for a year but are renewable. The policies can cost anywhere between $300 to $600 annually, or $50-$75 per month depending on the coverage. Besides premium, homeowners must pay service call fees or trade fees each time they request a service. The cost may range from $50 to $125. The premium and trade fees may vary depending on location, company, size of the property, and other factors.

Customers first need to sign up for a plan that suits their needs and read what is mentioned in their contract before proceeding further. It is required for the customers to read their contracts thoroughly before signing up for any plan. The home warranty contract states the annual premium, service call fee, number of systems and appliances covered, and other intricate details about the warranty plan. Once the first step is complete, the coverage usually begins 30-days after the payments are made.

Follow these simple steps to make use of your home warranty efficiently:

  • Reach out to the home warranty company if you notice any malfunctions in your systems and appliances
  • Once your complaint is registered with the company, they will immediately contact an affiliated service provider
  • The technician will then get in touch with you and set up an appointment at a time convenient to you
  • Once the technician arrives, he/she will either repair or replace your device
  • Whatever expenses are required will be taken care of by the home warranty company
  • Homeowners must note that each time a technician visits, a service call fee must be paid
  • The amount usually is between $50-$120, as decided by the home warranty company

As a customer, you must know the different aspects of home warranty plans. This information will help you file claims as smoothly as possible. If you still have further doubts, don't hesitate, reach out to your home warranty company's customer care team to get your issue clarified.

What Will A Home Warranty Plan Cover?

Home warranties cover the repair and replacements of the specified home systems and appliances' components and parts. The contract must be read thoroughly to understand the circumstances in which the home warranty will cover your malfunctioning system or appliance.

Most home warranty contracts are only meant for a single-family residential-use property, resale property, or new construction property. If you pay an additional fee, some companies may cover more significant properties of over 5000 sq.ft, guest houses, and multiple units belonging to the same property.

Home warranty plans may be available as a separate 'systems plan,' 'appliance plan,' or 'combined plan.' Within the list of home systems and appliances covered, you will find a list of included and excluded parts. The excluded parts are often the detachable accessories, not core to the item's functioning or the outer covering.

Examples of home warranty systems and appliances coverage:

Systems CoverageAppliances Coverage
Electrical systemMicrowave ovens
HVAC systemDishwashers
Garbage disposalClothes Dryers
Plumbing systemCeiling fans
Water HeatersRefrigerators

Home warranty companies offer add-on coverage for home items that are not deemed nearly as necessary for smooth home functioning, such as pools, additional fridges, etc. Roof repair is also covered by some companies as an add-on option and would be a good choice as fixing roof damages can be costly.

How Much Will I Save With A Home Warranty Plan?

With a home warranty plan in place, customers can save a lot of money. Average repair or replacement for a single device can cost thousands of dollars. But with a home warranty plan, customers are only required to pay the annual premium, which is generally $300-$600 depending on the company.

A customer must also pay a service call fee ranging from $50-$125 each time a technician repairs or replaces an item. The cost of an annual home warranty plan along with the service call fee is still much cheaper than repairing a single item without a warranty. Which means we are talking about hundreds of dollars of savings annually. However, customers should keep a few points in mind while selecting a home warranty company.

Every company sets out a maximum coverage amount for repairs and replacements, and if this amount exceeds, customers are required to pay the excess amount from their pockets. 

Always read your contract's fine print to know the exact amount you need to pay, be it for your plan, premium, or deductible. Some companies do offer customers the option of paying a monthly amount instead of an annual outlay. Home warranty plans are worth it if you want to protect your devices in the long run and save money while doing so.

What Are The Home Warranty Intricacies I Should Be Aware Of?

The contract should be read and understood thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the fine print. This maximizes the chances of a successful claim process, especially if you can figure out roughly what the problem is and whether it would be eligible for coverage.

Home warranty contracts specify that coverage doesn't extend to the efforts required to access the system or appliance if they are located in hard-to-reach places. They will also not pay the charges required to install or remove unrelated appliances to reach the item in question. Some home warranty companies offer coverage on code violations up to a certain limit, often $250.

Many home warranty companies offer rust, corrosion, and sedimentation coverage on real estate home warranty plans. The best way to avail of these benefits is by getting a home inspection regardless of whether the company has mandated it. This ensures that your claim cannot be dismissed based on pre-existing issues or any such complication.

The home warranty companies don't accept liabilities for any delays in sourcing parts or replacements, or scheduling issues between the repair contractor and you. This also extends to labor delays and delays due to non-conducive weather.

How Is Home Warranty Different From Home Insurance?

Home warranties and home insurance are often considered to be the same. But in reality, home insurance and home warranty differ from each other in many aspects. Home insurance shields your home structure from damage due to weather conditions, fire accidents, storms, etc.

On the other hand, home warranties cover repairs or replacements of protected home appliances and systems. It is a renewable service contract that usually lasts a year. Home warranties cover repair or replacement costs only if home items malfunction due to regular wear and tear, but not lack of maintenance, pre-existing conditions, and improper installation.

A home warranty is available in various payment options like monthly, bi-annual, or annual. They do not include any other charges, excluding the premium, service call fee, and cancellation fee (if any). This type of policy covers only home items and not outdoor areas.

Home insurance, on the other hand, covers both indoor and outdoor home areas. They also cover personal belongings when stolen or damaged.

Home warranty companies usually collaborate with licensed and insured technicians. When you file a claim, the company will assign you a technician to fix the issue. This will help you protect yourself from legal liability if any unfortunate event occurs when the technician is fixing the faulty home items.

This type of policy can be purchased at any time, regardless of the condition of your home. Unlike home insurance, warranties are loosely regulated and are not mandatory.

How Do I Trust The Repair Contractors?

Read online reviews of the customers of home warranty companies to gain a deeper understanding of service-related issues. Customers generally write about the skill level, professionalism, timeliness, politeness, the customer service provided by the service contractors. If the reviews are satisfactory, the company could be inferred as trustable, and if the reviews turn out to be negative, you should search for a better company.

Ask your neighbors and friends how good or bad the repair contractors of their home warranty companies were. They can give you more in-depth details of their home warranty experience. If they liked the service they got, they are more likely to recommend the home warranty company.

Another way to see whether you can trust a home warranty company's repair contractors is to verify whether they carry licenses and certifications authorized by the state. If they do, it means that the home warranty company adheres to quality standards when hiring the repair contractors. Usually, the home warranty companies with licenses and certifications have repair contractors who are skilled, ethical, and efficient.

In case you avail the services of a home warranty company, do observe the repair contractor's behavior on his first visit. See the quality of his work, punctuality, and attitude. If the experience turns out to be good,  you could continue availing the services.

A Home Warranty For Property Sale

A home warranty coverage is a great marketing tool for a property sale. They give home sellers an added advantage over properties without a home warranty plan as home warranty-protected homes are the most sought after by homebuyers.

Homebuyers would be under immense financial strain if they would have to get the malfunctioned appliances and systems fixed, just after investing in a property. But a home warranty coverage can reduce their economic miseries by providing low-cost repairs and component replacements by highly skilled technicians. Moreover, Repair services are provided quickly, and the homebuyers need not worry about looking for a professional maintenance specialist.

Since a home warranty comes with these benefits, homebuyers are often ready to invest in a home warranty. As a result, sellers briskly sell their property for a comparatively higher price.

It also provides coverage protection to the sellers and real estate agents. In many instances, while the home is listed on the market, some appliances and home systems could break down. This can spell trouble to the real estate agents or sellers as they would have to bear the enormous expenses for repairs and component replacements. Hunting for a professional technician is another burden. This will lead to further delay in the sale of the property. But with a Seller's home warranty, the repair expenses could be covered by a technician assigned by a home warranty in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions?

Customers can start using their home warranty plan 30 days after the date of payment is made. Companies set a waiting period to make sure everything is fine in terms of documents provided and initial payments. Customers can also cancel their policy in this 30-day waiting period and usually receive a full refund.

The home warranty company selects a trained technician from their network. These contractors come with a lot of experience, and the right set of tools is needed to fix your devices. You can check out a technician's rating online once he/she is assigned. If you are not too happy with the reviews, you can request the warranty company to assign a better specialist.

Home warranties are taxable only if it is purchased to cover income-generating properties. That is, if you purchase a home warranty plan to protect rental properties or home offices, such premiums can be taxable. But, the purchase will not be taxable if the home warranty plan was bought for your residence.

Yes, a home warranty plan can be purchased after closing a deal. If it is a pre-owned home, ask the company to inspect the appliances and systems to ensure no pre-existing conditions. Many companies do not cover home items that are broken down before buying a warranty plan.

A trade service call fee or deductible is an amount that is paid to the service contractor every time you file a claim. This amount covers the service contractor's labor cost to travel to your home and run a diagnosis regarding the problem with an appliance or home system.

Coverage limit or cap is the maximum amount of money that a home warranty company will cover for the repairs or replacement cost of components of an appliance or home system.